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Woman kicker makes history in Willamette’s win

October 19, 1997 GMT

SALEM, Ore. (AP) _ A soccer player-turned kicker at Willamette University became the first woman ever to play in a college football game.

Liz Heaston, 20, kicked two extra points as the Bearcats beat Linfield College 27-0 on Saturday.

Heaston, a standout for the school’s soccer team, was recruited by football coach Dan Hawkins. Her first game will be her last, however. She said she will return to her first love _ soccer _ as kicker Gordon Thomson is ready to come back from a year-long injury.

But for one afternoon, the overflow crowd of 2,500 at tiny McCullough Stadium got to witness Heaston make history. She kicked her first extra point after a Bearcats’ touchdown just before halftime.

The crowd went wild as the 5-foot-5, 120-pound Heaston jogged onto the field, and sailed the kick through the uprights.

``It wasn’t until I got off the field when I actually got nervous,″ said Heaston, a native of Richland, Wash. ``Then I realized, `I just kicked an extra point.‴